WASHINGTON May 24 U.S. home resales fell more
than expected in April, weighed down by a chronic shortage of
houses on the market that is keeping prices elevated and
sidelining prospective buyers.
The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday
existing home sales declined 2.3 percent to a seasonally
adjusted annual rate of 5.57 million units last month.
Despite the decline, April's sales pace was the fourth
highest over the past 12 months. March's sales pace was revised
down to 5.70 million units, which was still the highest level
since February 2007, from the previously reported 5.71 million
Economists had forecast sales falling 1.1 percent to a 5.65
million-unit rate. Sales were up 1.6 percent from April 2016,
also underscoring the housing market's underlying strength.
While the number of homes on the market rose 7.2 percent to
1.93 million units last month, supply was down 9.0 percent from
a year ago. Housing inventory has dropped for 23 straight months
on a year-on-year basis.
As a result, the median house price increased 6.0 percent
from a year ago to $244,800 in April, the highest level since
June 2016. That was the 62nd straight month of year-on-year
With recent data showing a drop in homebuilding and a plunge
in new home sales in April, weak home resales suggest
residential investment will probably make a small contribution
to gross domestic product in the second quarter.
Residential investment added half a percentage point to the
economy's 0.7 percent annualized growth pace in the first
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)